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Preview: Liverpool vs. Everton - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Liverpool's meeting with Everton in the FA Cup on Sunday, including a prediction, team news and predicted lineups.

Liverpool will look to replicate their astonishing Premier League form in the FA Cup when they meet local rivals Everton in the third round on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's men are cruising at the top of the table, while the Toffees are enjoying a resurgence of form under new boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Match preview

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their third goal on December 7, 2019© Reuters

Thursday's 2-0 victory over Sheffield United handed Liverpool the incredible record of going a full calendar year without losing a game in the Premier League.

The result leaves the Merseyside club 13 points ahead of closest challengers Leicester City with a game in hand, leading many to believe that the title is already destined for Anfield.

However, while Liverpool's resurgence in the league and in Europe has been remarkable, such success has not replicated itself in the FA Cup during the Klopp era.

Since the 2015-16 campaign, Liverpool have not gone beyond the fourth round, exiting the competition at that stage on three occasions and losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round last term.

Having not won the accolade since 2006, supporters will hope that their team places greater emphasis on going deeper in this competition - starting with a tantalising meeting with their biggest rivals under the lights on Sunday.

Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on December 7, 2019© Reuters

For Everton, it was their last visit to Anfield in December - a 5-2 defeat - that put the nail in the coffin for former manager Marco Silva, who was sacked soon after.

Since then, however, the Toffees have discovered a sense of rhythm that seemed to elude Silva and his players from the moment the 2019-20 campaign kicked off.

Following a galvanising victory over Chelsea under caretaker boss Darren Ferguson, the club secured the services of Champions League winner Ancelotti in what must be viewed as a masterful piece of recruitment.

The Italian has exerted an immediate impact, recording a pair of dominant victories over Burnley and Newcastle United ahead of performing impressively during a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad.

Indeed, Ancelotti will point to the organisation and energy of that performance as a blueprint for how Everton must negotiate the trip to Anfield this weekend.

Liverpool form (all competitions): LWWWWW
Everton form (all competitions): DLDWWL

Team News

Liverpool defender Joel Matip pictured on September 14, 2019© Reuters

Liverpool's hectic Christmas schedule has inevitably precipitated a number of injuries, with eight players carrying various problems ahead of this game.

Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri are both set to return later this month, while Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain face longer spells on the sidelines.

Rhian Brewster and Fabinho are sidelined with ankle problems; Naby Keita, meanwhile, has a groin problem that keeps him out of this game.

Nathaniel Clyne is still out as he continues to recover from suffering ligament damage over pre-season.

For Everton, Ancelotti faces an anxious wait over the fitness of Morgan Schneiderlin, Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph, although Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Alex Iwobi are not expected to come back until later in the month.

Andre Gomes, who broke his ankle in November, will not return to action for the foreseeable future.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Adrian; Hoever, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Lallana, Salah, Firmino, Elliot

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Sidibe, Holgate, Keane, Digne; Davies, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin, Kean

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We say: Liverpool 4-1 Everton

Even with a weakened team and in a competition where they have struggled in recent seasons, Liverpool's insatiable home form, combined with Everton's woeful record at Anfield, means that a big victory for Klopp's side is by far the most likely outcome.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp before the match on December 7, 2019
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